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New Caledonia Travel Guide

Entertainment

Nouméa has a number of cinemas but all foreign movies are dubbed into French, with no subtitles.

The city's disco scene is constantly changing and you'll need to ask around. Arrive early if you want a table, or try to reserve. The city authorities have closed down many bars and clubs frequented by Kanaks in the city center, while bars in the predominately French neighborhoods of Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons are unaffected.

Fun and Games

High rollers frequent the Casino Royal at Hotel Le Surf on Anse Vata. The female casino staff wear evening gowns, the male croupiers black tie, and punters are also required to dress smartly to enter the gaming salon (no shorts, jeans, thongs, or running shoes). You must show your passport at the door—locals and persons under 21 aren't admitted. Dress requirements and admission restrictions don't apply at the casino's slot machine section. The slots are operating from 1100 daily, the gambling salon from 2000 (Sun. from 1500).

The newer Grand Casino de Nouméa, at Hôtel Le Méridien, also has slot machines and a games room, open identical hours.

Less risky than the casinos are the bingo games held daily except Monday from 1400 onwards at 7 rue Jules Ferry. Of course, you'll need to know French (or find a helper).

Trials and Tribulations

One of the top free shows in town is the proceedings at the Palais de Justice on rue de Metz, just off route de l'Anse Vata downtown. Cases begin being heard in the Salle du Tribunal downstairs weekdays around 0800, and continue until the docket of that day has been cleared. Upstairs the Cour d'Appel evaluates more complicated appeals, also from 0800 onwards. The seats are comfortable, the air conditioning a relief, the situations intriguing, and the opportunity to learn some French unexcelled.

Cultural Shows for Visitors

Polynesian dancing (and the attempts of Japanese tourists to join in) may be witnessed at Le Nouvata on Anse Vata several nights a week. If you're not up to having the buffet, just enter the bar and order a drink. On Sunday afternoons Polynesian dancing comes with the seafood buffet at the Kuendu Beach Resort.

No regular programs feature Kanak dances or culture.